What Happens During Radiofrequency Vein Ablation?

What Happens During Radiofrequency Vein Ablation?

Dr. Nirav Patel is a board-certified vascular surgeon here at Premier Vascular in Yonkers and Jackson Heights, New York. He has expertise in all forms of varicose vein treatments, including minimally invasive radiofrequency (RF) ablation.

Dr. Patel explains why he often recommends RF vein ablation as an effective solution for eliminating unsightly varicose veins along with the leg swelling, skin changes, and other frustrating and sometimes painful symptoms they cause.

Radiofrequency ablation explained

Radiofrequency (RF) ablation uses energy from radio waves to create heat. When applied to living tissue via a specially designed needle, RF ablation can effectively and painlessly:

RF ablation can also seal veins damaged by chronic venous insufficiency, which is the underlying cause of varicose veins.

How radiofrequency ablation works on varicose veins

RF ablation seals the vein by scarring the walls of the vessel. This scar tissue causes the vein walls to collapse and seal together, which eliminates the blood flow through the varicose vein.

Sealing off a varicose vein with ablative therapy causes your body to redirect blood to a nearby healthy vein. As blood flow ceases and the vein dies, the remaining debris is reabsorbed and disposed of via your body’s natural “sanitation” system.

Is RF vein ablation painful?

Radiofrequency vein ablation is an endovenous procedure, meaning it takes place within the vein itself where there are no nerve endings.

Thus, it’s essentially painless other than a needle prick that’s felt when the specialized catheter used to distribute the RF energy is inserted through your skin into the vein. However, a topical numbing agent applied before the treatment begins prevents that discomfort as well.

RF vein ablation is well-tolerated by most individuals and is a popular choice for varicose vein treatment, since it’s a convenient in-office procedure that returns excellent results and requires virtually no downtime for recovery.

What happens during a radiofrequency ablation procedure

After ensuring the targeted area is numb from the anesthetic, Dr. Patel inserts a small catheter into the vein.

Guided by ultrasound imaging, he threads the catheter through the vein and releases radiofrequency energy to heat the walls of the blood vessel, which causes them to collapse and die.

He then withdraws the catheter and applies a sterile dressing to the puncture site. You may be asked to wear compression stockings for a few days following the procedure to help prevent bruising, which is a temporary effect of many ablative vein therapies. 

You can otherwise return to full activity following the procedure. In comparison, it can take several weeks to months to fully recover from vein surgery which normally takes place in a hospital or surgical facility.

Schedule your appointment today for more information about radiofrequency vein ablation or any of the minimally invasive procedures offered at Premier Vascular. Call the nearest office or request an appointment online.

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